Monday, December 04, 2006

Under the Influence of Paris

Okay, so I was hopeful the split of K-Fed and Brit meant a new era of enlightenment for the pop princess. Alas, this is not so! First, she starts hanging with Paris. And then suddenly she starts flashing everybody her c-section scars - and, as my friend once said, all her busy business. And I thought barefoot Britney at the gas station bathrooms was gross.

It's sad, really. I think she ought to take Rosie O'Donnell's offer to move in. She clearly needs some guidance from someone who doesn't have a sex tape in public circulation. Ee gad.

Then again, if she cleaned up her act, just what would I gossip about?

On book news, don't forget that the perfect gift this holiday for your wayward teen (or pop princess) is Wuthering High. Available in bookstores and online now!

And don't forget to enter the Win it Before You Can Buy it Contest to get your free signed copy of The Scarlet Letterman.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Have Something Nice To Say About Me?

... Well, by all means, come sit by me then. I love a good compliment. And the good reviews for "I Did (But I Wouldn't Now)" keep trickling in. You can read the latest at:

And I swear I didn't even pay the reviewer this time!

Okay, well, on to more important topics. The split of Brit-erline. We all knew this day would come (I thought it might be a year and a half ago, but still. I wasn't too far off). I have to applaud Britney for finally dumping the poster boy for white trash, but I have to wonder just how dumb K-Fed has to be to let the golden goose slip out of his hands. He couldn't have been nicer to the Queen of Pop? He's going to be back in that studio apartment with 10 back-up dancers within the year.

As news of the divorce got out, K-Fed was in my city (Chicago) performing his new rap album. They couldn't give tickets away to the event. Apparently, there aren't any women in Chicago who wanted to risk the possibility of carrying K-Fed's next baby. This, of course, brings me to my next question, which is who is K-Fed going to knock up next? For purely investment purposes, I'd suggest Paris Hilton. She seems not to mind slumming these days, or getting in the middle of nasty divorces, so she'd be my number one candidate. Not to mention, it would be the perfect reality show in the making. And, if they got married, they could call the show "Feder-ella" or "Cinder-line."

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Post Halloween Sugar Rush

Here's the sad thing about Halloween at my house: We don't get any trick or treaters. It's true. We live in a condo, so in order to get to us, the little tykes in costumes would have to buzz our door and head through two locked doors and up three flights of stairs.

This, however, does not prevent me from buying Halloween candy "just in case" some intrepid young trick or treater managed to find us on the third floor. Of course, in the meantime, my husband and I eat said candy. This year, I had to restock our candy supply THREE times (Since October 15, when I bought the first "just in case" candy, my husband and I devoured 2 bags of mini Snickers, one bag of Hersey bars, two bags of M&M's and one bag of candy corn).

I'm under the delusion that small candy bars actually have no calories. I mean, how can one single bite of chewy, chocolately goodness be bad for you? Even if, like me, you eat ten of them at a time?

Of course, this year, like all years, we had no trick or treaters, which made my last minute Snickers run yesterday afternoon a total waste. Of course, this just means more for me. Besides, given the fact that Thanksgiving and Christmas are just around the corner, I figure I'd better eat up if I'm going to manage to get up to what I like to call my "Holiday Weight" which is a little like a bear's "winter weight" if bears ate mini-Snickers and wore sweatpants.

But, on the no-calorie front, I've got a new contest brewing at I'm giving away the brand new, never before read (except by me and my editor) sequel to Wuthering High. It's called The Scarlet Letterman and it won't be in stores until January 2007, but you can win your copy now!

Friday, October 20, 2006

We're all winners

Okay, maybe that isn't true, because there are definitely some losers out there, but I wanted you all to feel good before I announced the winners of the $100 Hollister shopping spree as part of the Bard Back To School Contest!

Since I had a couple of thousand entries, and only four winners, there are bound to be a few losers out there. But fear not, the only thing I ever won was a pair of Donkey Kong shoelaces from a Honeycomb Cereal box. They were truly the ugliest shoelaces I've ever seen, but I wore them with pride in fourth grade because I won them.

Congrats to:
Hollister Gift Certificate Winner:
Kimberly Bennett from Kunkletown, PA

Signed Copies of Wuthering High:
Nina Olszewski from Grain Valley, MO

Laurie Candela from Woolwich, NJ

John Lee from Hollywood, Fl

Be sure to check back to in the near future because I'll be posting my newest contest - win it before you can buy it! I'm speaking, of course, of the next installment of the Bard Academy series, "The Scarlet Letterman."

Friday, October 06, 2006

The Scarlet Letterman

Hi all! I must apologize for leaving you hanging these past couple of weeks. My only excuse is, well, I really don't have much of an excuse, other than being easily distracted. Did I mention I have a short attention span?

I do, however, have the new cover for The Scarlet Letterman (the sequel to Wuthering High) which is out in January. Check it out. Feel free to tell me what you think. Not that I have any control over the art departemnt at MTV Books, but feedback is always good. And I would be remiss if I didn't mention that you can preorder The Scarlet Letterman on Amazon right now.

Also, for those of you itching for an interview with yours truly you can find it on a site called Veronika Asks.

Oh, and don't forget to enter the Bard Academy Back to School Contest for a chance to win a $100 shopping spree at Hollister. The kiddies these days tell me it's the place to get outrageously expensive overly worn jeans. Contest ends in about a week.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Premiere Week!

First of all, a HUGE thank you to everyone who braved the downpour and came to the Wuthering High book launch at the Magic Tree Bookstore in Oak Park this weekend. And thanks to the fine folks at the Magic Tree Bookstore - you couldn't meet nicer people.

Now, on to more pressing events. Like what's on my Tivo.

So it's time for the fall television season, and that means that my husband and I have been fighting nearly nonstop about what, exactly, our Tivo should be recording. Now, I realize that for the sake of our marriage, we ought to buy one of those ingenious splitters (the modern marvels that let you tape more than one channel at once). But I’m pretty techno-ignorant, and my husband has an allergy to shopping of any kind. He won’t even buy his own khakis, asking me to order them online for him, instead.

One of my friends have said that the key to her happy marriage is the fact that they have two separate (but nearly equal in screen size and quality) televisions in the house, so that she can watch Desperate Housewives while her husband watches football. I can see the merits in this.

Because my husband won’t just disagree about what we should be watching, but he can’t help himself but making a running commentary like one of those people you want to strangle at the movie theatre.

“You HAVE to be kidding me – who writes this stuff?” he’ll exclaim just as Meredith and McDreamy are about to get it on Gray’s Anatomy. Or “I am physically in pain right now, and if I watch this any longer, I may go blind,” as Susan tromps around one of her neighbor’s bushes in Desperate Housewives.

Sometimes he has a point (“Why do you insist on watching Amazing Race just to see the couples argue? We could argue right now instead!”) but most of the time, he’s just a guy, and can’t understand why I like love triangles, neighborhood intrigue and hunky supporting guys like Patrick Dempsey.

Now, to be fair, I do my share of groaning, too, like whenever he insists on watching a) old westerns, b) the old original Star Trek with William Shatner or c) football. When it comes to his favorite viewing pastime this season, football, I’m pretty mild in my criticism – I just fall asleep on the couch.

This, however, enrages my husband.

“It was the fourth quarter, and the score was tied at 21! How could you fall asleep?!”

What can I say? The roar of the crowd and the nonstop drone of empty-headed commentators (who say things like “The team that showed up to play won today” as if the other team didn’t show up to play? What? They came to knit sweaters?) just lulled me right to sleep.

And don’t get me started on Star Trek. I thought I’d outsmarted him on this one: he’d taken up so much room on our Tivo recording old Star Trek shows, that last Christmas I bought him the box set of the entire three seasons. Unfortunately, then he proceeded to sit down and watch them. And he wanted company while he did so.

If I never see Captain Kirk seduce another green-skinned alien girl again, that’ll be fine by me.

So, this week, I’m going to find out about that whole Tivo splitting thing, if only to save myself a whole fall season lineup of arguments. Besides, after watching Desperate Housewives last night, I suspect it might just be good again this season!

Monday, September 18, 2006

Wuthering High Book Launch Party

For those of you in or near the Chicago area (or those of you who love roadtrips) you are all invited to the Official Wuthering High Book Launch Party!

This Saturday,
September 23, 2006
2 p.m.

The Magic Tree Bookstore
141 N. Oak Park Ave
Oak Park, IL

The first 30 patrons there will get free Wuthering High pens, so by all means, come by and say hi. I'll be doing a reading and then signing afterward. Come on down!

Friday, September 08, 2006

And for more procrastination...

And if you're looking for another distraction, check out my interview online:

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Another reason to procrastinate

You guys know by now that I am a huge fan of procrastination (UTube, E-Online, anyone?) so I'm always willing to pass along some procrastination tidbits for you so that you don't have to sludge through the workday actually doing work (I mean, isn't that what the hour of 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. is for? Actual work? Any other time should be spent suffering the web, IMing or emailing, in my opinion).

Anyway, the "This is Chick Lit" girls (including yours truly) are going to be on a virtual Q&A on a site called Romance Divas. We're starting tomorrow, but I think there are already some early questions being posted today. Anyway, log on, and ask any question you want. I promise to answer truthfully to everything, unless you ask me how much I weigh.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Happy Post-Labor Day

I hope everybody had a fantastic Labor Day weekend. I know I did. I spent Monday on the couch where I paid homage to the millions of hard laborers in our great nation by watching a marathon of bad reality shows and occasionally flipping over to watch Andy Roddick on the tennis court.

When I watch tennis on TV, I like to think I'm exercising vicariously. I used to play in high school, and by watching it, I can remember all those long, grueling practices, and well, it's practically as good as going to the gym. And you know it has nothing to do with the fact that Andy Roddick is a total babe.

Ahem. But moving on...I wanted to do a couple of shameless plugs, because, well, you all know me by now, and I can't help myself.

I'm a guest blogger this month on with some other very funny and talented chick lit authors, including my friend Beth Kendrick. She's a riot, and you ought to check out her books (including her latest, "Nearlyweds"). Read more about her at You can read my entries every Friday in September.

And also, for those of you in (or near) the Chicago area, I'll be having a book launch party for Wuthering High at the Magic Tree Bookstore (141 N. Oak Park Ave) in Oak Park, Illinois on Saturday, September 23, at 2 p.m. Drop on by and say hello! I won't even pressure you to buy books, I promise. But if you do, I'll sign them.

And, last but not least, Wuthering High is getting more praise. I'm pretty sure people are saying it's the best book ever, but then again, I may just be hearing that, and what they're really saying is "it's better than watching paint dry." I've always had a talent for self-delusion, which is why I believe I can fit into size 2 pants (you know, if it weren't for that pesky water retention).

You can read a Q&A with me on, along with one of these glowing reviews, at

Saturday, August 26, 2006

The Scarlet Letterman

So Alex said...

Do you have any idea when the sequel to Wuthering High is going to be out?! I just read it and I LOVED IT! I also want to be a writer and I just loved how you brought all of the classics into the mix!

First of all, thank you, Alex! I might not be tech savvy (see my blunder in misreading a chatroom and missing the fact I'd won an award), but I do love praise. And yes, there will be a sequel to "Wuthering High," and it's called "The Scarlet Letterman" - I have to give a shout-out to my fabulously creative (and did I mention incredibly smart) friend Bethie, who came up with that name.

"The Scarlet Letterman" will be out in January 2007, which sounds like a long way off, but believe me, it's just around the corner. And worry not, I'll be giving away a few advanced copies, so stay tuned!

Also, speaking of contests, I've got a new one posted on Enter to win a shopping spree at Hollister. Okay, so it's not a shopping spree, but it is a $100 gift certificate, and in some circles I think that qualifies as a "spree." In my book, anything that's free is a spree.

click here to enter!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Psyche! I am a winner!

Okay, it's well known that I'm a big goof ball, but it seems that I was premature in declaring myself a loser this week. Turns out, I DID win the Reviewer's Choice award, along with several other winners of the Cata Network.

Maybe the person I thought took my place actually had to be disqualified because of a spread in Playboy, like a former Miss America, but I won't speculate. I think it's more likely that I'm just a big fat dork and my attention span is just too short to actually properly read message boards! It wouldn't be the first time technology has been my downfall. I am the one, after all, who nearly offered my wireless internet hub a voodoo chicken sacrifice the other day if it would only just PLEASE WORK in the air conditioned part of my condo. I'm convinced that, and the pleading and begging, helped it to work properly.

But worry not, Get Juicy! contestant runners-up, I still sent the consolation prizes this week. After all, I'm prety sure there's not that much space between a loser and a dork. We're still living in the same zip code.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Losing gracefully

Okay, so I didn't win the reviewer's choice award on Friday, but that's okay. I'm dealing with the rejection by trying to concentrate on the positives. Thankfully, the contest was online, so it's not like at a televised awards ceremony where the losers are in a split-screen with the winners, and have to put on their "oh, yeah, it's great that other girl won instead of me" face. And then, as if that's not humiliatng enough, through the winners' long acceptance speech, the camera keeps flipping back to the losers.

I don't know why they do this. Maybe they're hoping to see one of the losers actually break down in hysterics. Or mouth profanties at the winners. Or, during that disingenious part of the winner speech where she claims to be amazed she won because she was in such good company, see one of the losers flip her the bird. Now THAT would be an Academy Awards ceremony worth staying up until one a.m. to see.

Anyway, now that I'm officially a loser, er, I mean, stuck in the crowd of "it's just an honor to be nominated" folks, I have an extra empathy for my fellow losers. That's why this week I'm mailing the losers of the Get Juicy! Contest (the ones who correctly answered the trivia question about the book) free Wuthering High pens as a consolation prize. We losers have to stick together!

In other news, I'll be in my agent's chat room tomorrow night at 9 p.m. EST (for more information head to the knight agency blog, or directly to the chatroom. Drop by to say hello!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

I'm Headed to the Pink Carpet

Okay, so I wasn't nominated for an Oscar (which I think would be the coolest thing ever, next to say running into Keanu Reeves in the produce section of my local grocery store or winning the Powerball lotto). But I have been nominated for Best Book of 2006 (So Far) by the incredibly intelligent and unbelievably wise reviewers of the Cata Network Readers Lounge.

I'm not sure if sucking up helps my chances of winning or not, but I'm willing to give it a shot. Besides, I'm pretty sure that recently scientists discovered that some of the most intelligent, witty and terrifically skinny women posted reviews on the Cata Network.

Winners are going to be picked tomorrow by the super models of the Cata Network, and I feel like I ought to have my hair done and buy a designer gown. Of course, I can actually wear sweatpants to this awards ceremony since it'll be held online (ah, the beauty of modern technology). But I think I might just get a pedicure anyway. Sure, you can't see my toes, but I can, and they're in sore need of some pampering.

You're all invited to the ceremony, if you'd like to pop in. I think it's going to be a kind of chat room, although I'm not sure. And fabulous people (like me and did I mention the ridiculously good-looking book reviewers of the Cata Network?) will be there.

Check out your official invite here.

Festivities, I'm told, start at 9 p.m. EST. Also, you can check out the original review (5 stars!) that lead me to where I am today (a nominee! I've always wanted to say that. So far, my only "nomination" that I've ever had is to be president of my Condo Board, and believe me, that's no honor).

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

We have winners!

I just love picking contest winners. Granted, I've only done it this once, but it was a lot of fun. And since I've never won anything in my life (except some shoelaces from a box of Captain Crunch once), I like spreading the joy. Congratulations to the Bard Academy Get Juicy Winners!

1st prize, Juicy Couture Wristlet:
Jennifer Grass from Endicott, NY

2nd prize: Juicy Couture Bracelet:
Tara Luterbach from Calgary, Alberta, Canada

3rd prize: Juicy Couture ipod Case:
Anita Yancey from Hampton, GA

Winners of Signed Books:

Tiffany Sullivan North Carolina; Sarah Peterson from Arizona; Kristen Lau from California; Cathy Meyer from Arizona; and Gail Gunter from Tennessee.

And many thanks to everyone who entered. For those of you who correctly answered the trivia question and didn't win, you'll be getting a special consolation prize in the mail. I promise it's cheap, but I think it's better than yellow Captain Crunch shoelaces like the ones I won when I was ten.

And by the way, for those of you who entered and didn't win, never fear. I'm going to have another contest soon. Keep checking for more fabulous prizes. Oh, and if you just can't get enough of moi (and really, who can?) check out this new online interview:

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Girl Fight, continues

So I've mentioned the brewing literary fight between the girls who don't mind writing entertaining fiction (even if they call it chick lit) and those who are desperately trying to be Taken Seriously. There are two short story anthologies that get to the heart of this battle. One (the better one naturally, because I'm in it) is "This is Chick Lit." The other is "This is NOT Chick Lit" where basically the foreward reads like someone desperately trying to get respect at their high school reunion. The editor of said anthology actually declares that the authors within are the best women writers today. You know, so much for Toni Morrison. Someone tell her that Jennifer Weiner just dethroned her.

Not that I have anything against Jennifer Weiner. Or any of the other authors included in the "This is NOT Chick Lit" book. Most of them are charming, talented writers.

But here's the thing. My feeling is anyone who goes around shouting "I'm a serious author! I'm literary!" is protesting a wee bit too much. It's a lot like standing up at the gym and shouting "I have a really small butt!"

Let's face it, if you have one, people already know you do. If you don't, well, shouting about the fact that you do isn't going to change the fact that you wear size XXXXXXXL pants.

But, read more about "This is Chick Lit" on the brand new site:

And in completely frivilous news, don't forget that you just have two days to enter the Get Juicy! Contest. Drawing is Tuesday!

Monday, July 31, 2006

I'm melting!

I must apologize for neglecting this blog! Summer has really gotten away from me this year, and I think it has to do with the fact that it's really, super, asphault-melting hot out there.

Global warming anyone?

It's supposed to hit a hundred degrees in Chicago today and might be the hottest day of the year. I grew up in Texas, but that doesn't mean that I like 100 degree weather. In fact, it means that I'm a Central AC girl, which unfortunately, I don't have in Chicago. So, I've barracaded myself in my bedroom with my new AC window unit, and I'm praying we don't have any blackouts.

But, on to cooler news (much cooler!) I've just found another glowing review of Wuthering High:

This proves that Wuthering High isn't just for kids - adults like it too! If you haven't checked it out yet, head to for more info. And by the way, don't forget to enter the Get Juicy contest, if you haven't already. I'll be giving away posh accessories August 15. Okay, so it's not a car like Oprah, but on the upside, you don't have to pay $5,000 in taxes on it, either.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I think I'm going to go stick my head in my freezer.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Where's Suri? And Do We Really Care?

Okay, so in between writing the sequel to Wuthering High, and doing other various, author-like things, I've still managed to find time to read up on my celebrity gossip in US Weekly and People magazine. I haven't managed to vacuum at all, but I have priorities - sheesh. People comes first. Besides, technically, I read People for the book reviews. Can you say, business expense? Ahem. Anyway.

So, US Weekly is running on their website a clock counting down to the second the time that's elapsed since the birth of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes' baby, Suri, which happens to be the same amount of time since we haven't seen the little bambino (83 days, twelve hours and counting). I've heard all kinds of rumors about why this is - like they tried to sell exclusive baby pictures but were disappointed they didn't fetch as much as the Brangelina Baby to Suri is actually an alien who can't be exposed to sunlight.

Okay, so I haven't heard that part about Suri being an alien, but given the Scientology obsession, I couldn't help throwing that in there. But here's the thing. I don't care if I don't see TomKat's kin. I think we should all be glad they're laying low for awhile. I mean, I don't need to see Tom jumping on any couches any time soon, thanks. My new book Wuthering High is about a haunted boarding school, but nothing in it is as scary as Tom Cruise going off on Matt Laurer about prescription drugs. Ee gad.

And by the way, speaking of Wuthering High, it's featured on Barnes and Noble's picks for teen reading this week. Check it out.

And if you haven't yet, don't forget to enter the Get JUICY Contest!

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Wuthering High Hits Stores - Stampedes Ensue

Okay, so I don't think there are any stampedes. Officially, Wuthering High comes to a book store near you this weekend (everywhere by July 4). If you haven't yet bought your copy - what are you waiting for? Sure, it's for teens. But aren't we really teens at heart?

Sarah wrote in and wanted to know how many books would be in the Bard Academy series. There's definitely one more in the series (because I just finished it and turned it into my editor), but the rest of the series is up the air. I'd love to write more Bard Academy books, but it really depends on how well they sell. This means that if you want to see more of them, tell everyone you know to buy one! Reading, as always, is optional. The buying is the thing.

I'm officially out of contracts with my publisher, so I won't find out until September if I'm renewed, or if like Star Jones, I'll be surfing the pages of for a new job!

By the way, who else secretly loved the fact that Star Jones got the public smackdown from Baba Wawa?

And by the way, don't forget to enter to win fab prizes at

Happy Fourth of July to everyone!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Win Fab Prizes!

Okay, so you all who know me know that I am shameless when it comes to self-promotion. However, this doesn't mean that I don't appreciate you listening me drone on about moi. In fact, to reward you, I'm having a special contest to help promote my new book, Wuthering High, which hits book shelves this week. (Ahem, and as my Dad tells me, since he's already pre-ordered his copy, it is also shipping now from Amazon).

Go to and enter to win Juicy Couture accessories, and pass along the link to anyone you know in the teen set (or who's young at heart like I am!).

Thursday, June 22, 2006

The Lockwoodettes Party!

Okay, I think I may have mentioned before that I have the best friends ever, and I have to say, it's true. I have the best friends EVER! I know you probably have some good friends. I'm sure they are good. They may ever been great. But are they the BEST FRIENDS EVER?

Take, for instance, Kate Miller, one of the stars in the Lockwoodette Posse. Not only did she buy up all the books in the store, last night she threw me a fantastic book signing party the likes of which I doubt many Wednesday nights have ever seen before. There was wine and fruity drinks. There was food. There was lots and lots of fabulously dressed and very witty attendees. It was, in short, a party only one of the most dedicated friends in the world could throw. (Thank you, Kate!).

Mind you, Kate managed to throw said fab party after only a day before having her central AC die, which would've made for a very sticky party situation with our humid, 90 degree days of late. But she prevailed, and I think she only had to promise to sell her first-born child to Visa to have the new AC installed. This is what I call friendship, people! You don't know the total cost of her bill. As she put it, the cost can be summed it up two words: "Holy Crap!"

Thanks again to everyone who came! And a special thanks to my talented friend, Christina, who personally made party favors - keepsake bookmarks. They were as fantastic as the people who came. Thanks, everybody!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Come on Down

For those of you in or near Chicago, I'm going to be signing books at the Old Orchard Barnes and Noble in Skokie this Friday, June 23, at 7:30 p.m. I'll be reading from "I Did (But I Wouldn't Now)" and signing books with Stacey Ballis, fellow Chicagoian and the very funny author of Inappropriate Men and her latest, Room for Improvement. Stacey is a riot, and if you think I'm entertaining, trust me, she takes the cake!

Drop by if you want to chat, tell us how great we are, buy our books, or if you'd just like to make a stop on your way to check out the Lacoste store at Old Orchard. I won't mind.

Hope to see you there!

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Birthdays, and other reasons to eat cake

Sorry for the delay! I was busy celebrating my birthday week (festivies continue through the end of June). There's nothing quite like having guilt-free cake. Isn't cake consumed on your birthday calorie free? As, of course, are all alcoholic beverages.

As for the best birthday present ever, I heard about some more good reviews for I Did:

And one for Bard:

It's always good to know that my mom isn't my only fan. :) By the way, thanks to everyone who wrote in about being excited about Bard! I think you'll really like it. You don't have to be 15 to enjoy it, either. In fact, I found that writing about teen life was a lot more fun from an adult's perspective. Plus, it's the summer, and we all need a little action and adventure!

For those of you who missed it, the new Bard site can be found at

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Bard Online

I am very lucky to have some very talented friends. One of them, Christina, has just finished a fabulous new web site for Bard Academy (the new series of teen books I'm doing). You can visit it at

If you like the classics, and you are a secret fan of teen shows like I am (there is something addictive about MTV's "My Sweet 16" even I have to admit), then I think you'll really like Bard Academy.

The first in the Bard Academy series, Wuthering High, is out this fourth of July. What better way to celebrate our nation's birthday than a little trip to a haunted boarding school where ghosts of famous writers stalk the students? I mean, that's as American as apple pie, isn't it?

My mom thinks so. And, by the way, Mom gives her maternal seal of approval for Wuthering High. She read it last week and gave it two thumbs up. And, if you think she's too biased to give an honest opinion, I should tell you that my good friend Shannon also gave it her approval. And she's very particular about what she reads, and isn't afraid to tell me when something really stinks, either. I love her for that. If she's on board, you KNOW it has to be good. And I didn't even bribe her with a shopping trip to DSW Shoe Warehouse.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Happy Day-After-Memorial Day

So, I, like most of you, spent the weekend in somber reflection of the sacrifice of our veterans. And by somber reflection, I mean stuffing myself with an obscene amount of bbq, while awaiting word from Namibia about Brangelina's baby.

Thankfully, the Brangelina baby made an appearance, so now we can all stop obsessing about how the World's Most Beautiful Baby can never be president of the United States (being born on foreign soil). I mean, sure, the baby is being touted as the New Hope for Humanity's Gene Pool, but she'll never give a State of the Union address. Unless Schwarzenegger manages to get an amendment passed before Shiloh turns 35.

In other news, it's hot here in Chicago. And by hot, I mean that it is really freakin' hot. Now, I grew up in Dallas, where you could get third degree burns from your steering wheel if you were foolish enough to leave your car out in the sun without a windshield visor. So, I like to think I'm tough, but frankly, my condo is sweltering. I knew it was bad yesterday when my Yankee Candles started to melt without being lit first. The real problem is that I, like most Chicagoians, don't have central air.

Even my laptop is sweating. And that can't be a good thing. I tried to find refuge at the mall, but the closest one to me is an outdoor mall. I don't know what genius figured that was a good idea (Christmas shopping in three feet of snow, anyone?). Thankfully, Nordstrom is air-conditioned, and has all the major life support needs (food and drink at the cafe, shoe sales and an endless supply of beauty products). If they had a bedding section, I would've probably slept there.

I'm off to buy a Super Giant Big Gulp. I think maybe if it's big enough, I could try swimming in it.

Stay cool!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Girl Fight, Part Duex

So, the girl fight continues.

You can take a sneak peek at the cover of "This is NOT Chick Lit" on Amazon (black with bold pink print). For those of you who don't know, I'm in the opposing anthology called "This is Chick Lit," available in June. (For more on this, see my last post.)

Now, to add fuel to the fire, Gloria Steinem has been quoted as saying:

“This Is Not Chick Lit is important not only for its content, but for its title. I’ll know we’re getting somewhere when equally talented male writers feel they have to separate themselves from the endless stream of fiction glorifying war, hunting and sports by naming an anthology This Is Not a Guy Thing.”

Now, I have immense respect for Gloria Steinem. But, I think the whole idea that anything with "chick" in the title is demeaning is taking things a bit too far.

I like chick flicks. And chick lit. And chick rock. Heck, I even like the Dixie Chicks. It might, although I'm not positive here, have something to do with the fact that I AM a chick. I mean, what next? Will I have to abandon pedicures and shopping because it will undermine my credibility? Or stop watching Desperate Housewives or Gray's Anatomy because my husband makes fun of them?

Not to mention, I think Ms. Steinem might be out of touch. Has she heard of Metrosexuals? "A Guy Thing" today might include an eyebrow wax.

But, all that being said, I am a feminist, but I'm also a humanist. (I'm rooting for both sexes - that is, unless my husband wants the remote).

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Girl Fight

So while I'm figuring out just what Novel 5 is going to be about, there is a way to get your chick lit fix BEFORE next spring.

In fact, at the end of June, there's going to be a fantastic short-story anthology out called "This is Chick Lit" featuring authors such as Lauren Baratz-Logsted (The Thin Pink Line), Jennifer Colburn (The Wife of Reilly and Reinventing Mona), Arielle Papa (On the Verge), Heather Swain (Eliot's Banana), Caren Lissner (Carrie Pilby) and Me - of course.

The reason this book is called "This IS Chick Lit" is because there's an anthology by a group of authors called "This is NOT Chick Lit" coming to a book store near you. Now, I don't know if you all know about the brewing debate about Chick Lit, but it basically goes like this:

There are some women writers who resent their fiction being labeled as "chick lit" and feel it's demeaning and undercuts their literary credibility. There are other writers - like me - who don't really care what you call it, as long as readers find and enjoy said books.

The dueling short story anthologies point out the differences in both camps. Personally, my general philosophy is to write for readers, not write for critics, so I don't really care how derisive the New York Times is of girly covers. I mean, I'm not writing for them. But that's just my two cents.

Anyway, look for This is Chick Lit, coming soon!

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Some news and a glimpse into the future

First off, I'd like to say thanks for everybody who's written in to say they like "I Did!" I seriously must have the fastest (and smartest) readers of any author I know. You guys are the best.

Second order of business, for those of you fast, smart readers in the Chicago area, I'll be at Barbara's Books in Marshall Field's in the loop tomorrow at noon signing copies of "I Did (But I Wouldn't Now)." By the way, they make fabulous belated Mother's Day gifts (at least, my mom thinks so).

Third order of business (and not in any way the least important), Sara posted a very good question on the blog recently, which is "What's next for me in chick lit?"

Unfortunately, the answer is: I don't know.

I'm between contracts at the moment, and my agent is talking to my editor right now trying to work out a new agreement. Fear not, I suspect that I'll still have a chick lit book out in 2007.

As for possible topics, I'm kicking around the idea of a sequel to Dixieland Sushi (Jen goes to London to meet Riley's quirky family and then when Jen's family gets word that she's (possibly) eloped the whole Nakamura clan flies in).

The other idea is one I'd been thinking about for a while, a kind of he-said, she-said modern retelling of Taming of the Shrew. But, at this point, maybe neither one of those ideas will actually become a book. You never know with these things. Ideas are strange that way. Some of them are definitely book-length, while others pitter out around fifty pages.

Sara says she wants to see a sequel Pink Slip Party - and so do I! I'm just trying to figure out the best way to do it. When I have a stroke of brilliance - which I haven't had yet, but one can still hope - I will let you know.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Dirty Dish-ing

So, I must apologize because I have been woefully neglectful of a very important topic - celebrity gossip. I've been entirely too book-focused of late, and have skirted my responsibility (as a consumer of People magazine and occassionally US Weekly) to dish dirt on celebrities.

Frankly, even for the part of my brain that stores celebrity gossip (I believe it's the entire left side of my brain, because I certainly can't do math), it's been a bit of an overload recently.

Where to start? Katie Holmes, Suri and Insane Tom Cruise (I'm sure Tom will sue me shortly after this is posted to have this removed from my blog)? Denise Richards running off with Richie Sambora? K-Fed officially being crowned the Most Fertile Man in North America?

One of you asked recently about my thoughts of Britney and K-fed's news, so I suppose I should start there. Recently, I defended her against the tabloid speculation that Britney wasn't in shape because she was preggers (because she wasn't Playboy-ready in 2.4 seconds like the rest of Hollywood's elite). I thought even Britney, whose bad judgment is legendary (marrying K-fed, going barefoot in trucker bathrooms and driving with baby Sean Preston in her lap) would know better than to let Kevin near her without proper protection (Frankly, I would be wary of sharing an elevator with him at this point). I was, however, proven wrong.

All I can say is that I certainly hope Spears, Jr. #2 benefits from the hardwon parental lessons of Sean Preston. And, that Britney forgoes nanny help (least spending too much one-on-one time with K-Fed leads to Accident #3).

Now, on to the Denise Richards saga. I met Denise and soon-to-be ex Charlie on the set of the Lifetime adaptation of "I Do (But I Don't)." (And yes, I realize this is name-dropping, but as I've said before, what's the point of meeting celebs if you can't tell people you have?) Lately, my friends have been asking me if the 10.2 minutes I spent in Charlie's company led me to believe he was capable of surfing (possible child) porn, or doing any of the other things alleged in Denise's custody battle papers.

The answer is no. Charlie was very well-behaved, had a firm handshake, was all eyes for baby daughter Sam, and carried on a very pleasant conversation with me that had nothing do with drugs or hookers. He was very nice, in fact. He said he'd seen my book around the house and liked the cover art. I'll take compliments, even when I don't deserve them (for art I didn't create), so that earns him points in my book.

I can't pretend to know what happened between those two (although I do because I carry on the charade that they have my number on speed dial), although the very fact that Denise is now allegedly roaming about L.A. with Richie Sambora tells me perhaps poor Denise might be suffering from some of the same problems Britney is in the judgment department.

But what do I know? That's just my two cents.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

The Lockwoodettes

There are a group of friends I thank in the acknowledgements of "I Did (But I Wouldn't Now)" that I call my back-up singers, the Lockwoodettes. The lead singer, Ms. Kinsella, I dished about last week. Her tearful antics have sold me dozens of books, and for that I am forever grateful.

Not to be outdone, Kate Miller decided to buy out the local Borders herself. Lockwoodette Swartz had this to say about Ms. Miller:

Let me paint a picture for you...Charlie [Ms. Swartz's adorable schnoodle] and I are walking down the street last night around 7pm, much to our surprise a cute vintage Volvo slows down & out pops Kate Miller's head. She pulls over, we cross the street to say hello & as I slowly approach the car I peer in to say hello-- there it was...the ENTIRE front seat was filled with fresh brand new copies of "I did (But I wouldn't Now)"!! I think she wiped out the store's stock--she must have! I think she even justified her actions by saying "I did leave a few for other people!"

Anyway just wanted to keep you updated on your roaming PR team & if you check sales stats, I'm positive they spiked around 6:30 Monday evening--its all Kate's fault

It just goes to show that the Lockwoodettes work very hard to earn their acknowledgements. Thanks, girls! And by the way, anyone else doing incredible PR feats (including but not limiting to: getting strangers and/or friends to buy the book, buying multiple copies, and/or moving books around the bookstore for better placement), you, too could earn a shout out in future books. Email me with your PR stories. I'm nothing if not easily bought.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Marketing Whores are a Girl's Best Friend

Okay, if you live in the Chicago area, you might already know my friend, Bethie. She knows everyone in Chicago, although she claims there are a few people she doesn't know, but we all know that's just false modesty. Bethie, one of my nearest and dearest, is a woman of many talents. She not only puts Martha Stewart to shame, but this graduate of Second City is not afraid to corral strangers in book stores to buy my books.

Just last night, she convinced two strangers to buy my book by her patented "I'm in the acknowledgements" ploy, in which she heads to the front tables, picks up my book and then promptly bursts into tears. When she has a big enough crowd, she'll tell people the reason: that she's in the acknowledgements of said book. She claims she only does it to ensure she has a spot every year and because, naturally, she's my "Midwestern representation" and a self-proclaimed marketing whore. Honestly, if my books came with gold plaques, she'd have her name engraved.

Did I mention how much I love this girl?

Of course, she also extends the same PR to her two uncles, also published authors, Kevin O'Brien, a.k.a. master of the suspense novel, and her other uncle, Mike Leonard, whose new book is already on the bestseller lists.

Anyway, Chicagoians, beware. She's coming to a book store near you, and she's not afraid to cry.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Even Desperate Housewives Read

So, I used to be a huge fan of Desperate Housewives. Who wasn't? Then, it sort of got a little dull in the first half of the second season. That's when I turned the channel to BBC America and started watching Footballers Wives (if you haven't seen it, you must!).

Recently, however, I've tuned back in to DW, and it's gotten interesting again. I mean who isn't secretly hoping that Edie finds out Susan is the "other woman" and then beats the snot out of her? I'm sorry, but I've seen way too many close-ups of Susan's "oops - I screwed up again!" face.

But, I digress. The point is that back when Desperate Housewives was must-see Sunday TV (and it's creeping back up my Tivo list as we speak), I wrote an essay for a book about Desperate Housewives, called "Welcome To Wisteria Lane," which hits book stores later this month. Okay, so maybe I need to work on my sales pitch on this one, but even if DW has been uneven, this collection isn't!

My friend and fellow Downtown Press novelist, Beth Kendrick, also has a fantastic essay on motherhood (anyone who feels Susan ought to quit using her daughter as a therapist, needs to read this essay!).

My essay deals with the dangers of suburbia. Why is it that all the intrigue on TV soaps happens in the 'burbs? You've got to read the essay to find out! Check out the book on Amazon.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Tom Kitten and other calamities

Hi all,

So sorry I've been awol this last couple of weeks. I was trying to free Katie Holmes from the insanity that is Tom Cruise, but alas, I was unsuccessful. Is it just me, or does she have a glassy-eyed look in all the pictures of hers like her mind's permanently situated in its happy place? Personally, I think whoever was Tom Cruise's publicist for 10 years before she was fired and replaced by his sister, deserves serious kudos. He or she sat on a volcano of craziness for years and never let it actually erupt.

When I wasn't running celebrity interventions, I've been busy launching the new book - "I Did (But I Wouldn't Now)" - which is in some stores now, and coming to all stores very soon. You can also buy it now on Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

And, in other news, I've finally joined the new millennium and gotten a page on Myspace. Given that I am over the age of 30, I feel a little like a creepy old person, BUT, some of my 20-something friends say it's the all rage among the kiddies, so I'm trying my hand at it, because you're only as old as you feel right? Anyway, my myspace page is It's bare and ugly because I am a myspace virgin, but I'm learning folks! If you're on myspace, invite me to be your friend. I think I have three friends at the moment, and one of them is Tom, which doesn't count because he's everybody's friend.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Mom really DOES know best!

Okay, I'm sure you're sick of me singing my own praises by now (I could lie and tell you that I am, too, but really, does a person ever get tired of bragging? I mean, really). My only excuse is that I'm sure I'll get an ugly Amazon review that will make me want to spend the day in bed, and this is just to balance all those out.

Two more reviewers sound off about "I Did" and they agree with Mom:


Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Mother always knows best

It's less than a month now until the May 2 release of "I Did (But I Wouldn't Now)" the sort-of sequel/spin off to "I Do (But I Don't)" and I'm excited.

It's gotten at least two good reviews - one from an objective critic and one from my mom, who has never claimed to be objective, but has said, repeatedly, "I think this is the funniest novel I've ever read, and I'm not just saying that because I'm your mother and I have to."

Mom also says that this novel is funny until the very end, and doesn't let you down, like some other books do. That's mom-speak for "I liked it. I REALLY liked it! And I'm not just saying that because I'm your mother."

Now, if that doesn't sell you on the book, I don't know what will. This is my mom we're talking about. Forget the New York Times. Moms always know best.

Now, I won't tell you what my brother has to say on the subject, namely because he doesn't read my books. In general, his motto is "I don't read anything except the sports section" and if pressed, he'll say, "You want me to read this? It has purple on the cover!"

Friday, March 31, 2006

Viva la France

In keeping with my last post on international exposure, I thought I'd share a fan letter from France I got this week about the French-translated "I Do (But I Don't)":


I have just finished "Mariages, etc..." and I loved your book...
It's not so easy for me to explain in English, but your book was
fantastic, I laughed a lot, and even in Paris it rained a lot,
your book was a sun shine for me!

It was a real pleasure, and i hope to read your books very soon.
Thanks a lot
From Paris, and under the rain!

I'm international, baby! Actually, it was quite fun to get the French fan letter, and I was doubly glad that it came in English. I nearly flunked French in college. We had a language requirement, and I made the mistake of signing up for an 9 a.m. five-day-a-week language course during my freshman year. I didn't realize how early 9 a.m. was in college. I believe I slept through half of those classes, which is probalby why I nearly failed.

Kudos to my French fan. If I'd tried to write a French author in French, I would've probably started an international incident. I think the only word I remember is "Bibliotheque" - the word for library. That's exactly what my dad wants to hear after paying my tuition, too.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Did anyone order Thai?

In The New York Times last week, they wrote about how chick lit is finding an international market, popping up in countries all over the world.

This week, my publisher sent me copies of "I Do (But I Don't)" translated into Thai. The cover is attached, here, but don't ask me to translate, because the only Thai I know is "pad Thai" or "Panang curry" which I don't think counts.

I keep teasing my husband that I'm going to rocket to fame in Thailand, just like David Hasselhoff became a rock star in Germany, where he's more popular than Brad Pitt. I can't wait for the interview in Bangkok where I talk about how Americans just don't appreciate my singing and dancing talent.

The Thai version of "I Do" is actually its second tranlsation. Last year, it was translated into French. And Pink Slip Party is currently available in Norweigan.

I think Norway has to be my favorite international cover (see right). The kick-in-the-pants is pretty much the universal sign for being laid off. And come on, can you beat the Scooby Doo like cartoon? I think not!

If only this had been the American cover, I think Pink Slip would've hit the New York Times Bestseller list for certain.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Baby Fat

Okay, so I'm not a huge fan of Britney Spears, but even I have to admit the side by side photo (shown here) that's been running on is a bit harsh. The photo shows Britney pre-baby from April 2003 to post baby April 2006.

You see, there's a rumor going around that Brit and K-Fed are expecting - again. There's another rumor going around that Britney just can't lay off the KFC. What neither rumor considers however, is THIS plausible explanation: Maybe it takes more than 2.3 seconds to lose baby fat.

Heaven forbid that a celebrity have a baby and then not get into Playboy Centerfold shape in three months. For once, I think we ought to lay off Britney. She's not endangering her child here and she isn't risking hepatitis by walking barefoot into a trucker bathroom. The only thing she's guilty of as far as I can tell is perhaps bad judgment in choosing the two-piece.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Equal Rights Now... For Men?

Normally, I don't discuss political issues, unless you consider red carpet attire political, and I suppose it is, in Hollywood. But, I read about this story today, and I couldn't help myself.

A 25-year-old man in Michigan is suing his ex-girlfriend claiming he shouldn't have to pay child support because he didn't want the baby. By the way, nothing says Stand Up Guy like one who wants to go on record on CNN telling the world he told his girlfriend to abort their daughter. You know, because that'll never get back to her, when she's say, 16.

While that in and of itself has a definite slime factor (he's clearly in the running for Deadbeat Dad of the Year Award), what I found even funnier was the National Center For Men, which is a group advocating "equal rights" for men, who are calling this lawsuit the the "Roe v. Wade" for men.

I went to their web site to see "their issues." I was expecting to see a "Keeping the Toilet Seat Up" campaign, but what I found instead was a laundry list of gripes, including:

1. Men don't live as long as women
2. Women have complete control over their reproductive rights, but men have no control, and can have parenthood "forced" upon them.
3. Men get screwed in most divorces
4. Men earn more money, but women spend more (yeah, not kidding on this one!)
5. Men have to make the first move in most new sexual relationships

Well, I don't know about you, but I don't really feel sorry for men on any of these counts. I didn't realize that our society was oppressing men (keeping them away from drugstores, where latex products are sold, for instance). I like men, and I do think it's not easy to be one (especially in these metrosexual days), but I just don't buy that most guys are at a social disadvantage to women, unless you're talking about how we get to wear much cooler shoes, and then I agree. Then again, our shoes are far less comfortable than yours are.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

And the Oscar goes to....

Jon Stewart.

All right, so (my favorite comedian - go Daily Show!) took some harsh words after his hosting of the Oscars Sunday night (my equivalent of the Superbowl). I am going to defend him here, even though I have nothing whatever to do with the movie industry - save that "I Do (But I Don't)" Lifetime Movie, and well, we all know that can't win any Academy Awards - although it should. You know, at least for Best Screenplay.

At any rate, I watch the Academy Awards every year. Why? I don't know. I like movies, yes, but it's the same reason I watch the podium ceremonies at the Olympics, I suppose. I want to see somebody acheiving their life dream, and I want to see some tears, people. It's the same reason I watch Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. I know I'm being manipulated, but I don't care! Pass the Kleenex. Sniff. Sniff.

Sunday night's Oscars lacked tears, yes (most of the winners, even make-up artists were like 2-time winners, so this was old hat). And some TV critics said it lacked laughs from host Stewart. They put him in the same category as David Letterman and Chris Rock - edgy comedians that just didn't play well at the Kodiak Theatre.

Well, here's what I want to tell Hollywood and the Academy (because, you know, they'll listen to me): Edgy comedians are - hello? - EDGY. If you put them on stage at the Oscars, they are going to poke fun at Hollywood. And personally, I found Jon Stewart hysterical. When he joked after a pompous montage of clips from socially important and relevant movies that "And none of those issues were ever a problem again" - Hilarious.

I think Hollywood in general ought to stop taking itself so seriously at Award shows and start taking movie making a little more seriously (At the Oscars we were told to go see more movies in the theatre, but our choices this weekend inlcuded a movie about a teenage mermaid and a remake of Pink Pather. Thanks, but I'll pass).

Other sure-fire ways to improve the Oscars:

1. More Jon Stewart, less musical numbers involving interpretive dance.
2. More acceptance speeches, less not-so-funny spoofs on acceptance speeches
3. More booze (like the Golden Globes), less montages promoting the social value of Hollywood.

But then, again, it doesn't really matter what they do, because I'll be watching again next year. Even if they ask Billy Crystal back (please, don't get me started on his musical intro numbers - ack!).

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

You Like Me. You Really Like Me.

The first advanced review of my new book "I Did (But I Wouldn't Now)" (soon to be released May 2) is in, and it's positive!

For those of you interested in reading someone else praise my talents (and I know I am), check out Fallen Angel Reviews.

My husband wanted to know if "Fallen Angels" included Lucifer, and if I'd sold my soul for a good review, but I assure you, dear readers, this is not the case. I have no affiliation with Fallen Angels, other than agreeing on their excellent taste. And, for the record, if I was selling me soul, frankly, I'd hold out for the New York Times. My soul doesn't come cheap, okay?

"I Did (But I Wouldn't Now)" is a spin-off of my first book, "I Do (But I Don't)" and it follows the misadventures of Lauren Crandell's little sister, Lily. For those of you who don't know Lauren, she's the neat-freak, compulsive wedding planner from "I Do (But I Don't)" (ahem - Now an Original Lifetime Movie starring Denise Richards).

I must apologize for my blatant marketing message. I suffer from a sad condition known as Compulsive Shameless Self Promotion. I am getting help. I am.

In the meantime, as I seek recovery, let me just say "I Did" is now available for advanced purchase on Amazon. Okay, that's it. Last bit of compulsive marketing.

Monday, February 27, 2006

A Return to Abnormalcy

So, a hopeful writer writes:

"When you are writing a book, what does your schedule look like? I am trying to write and I have bursts of genius and lulls where like you, I would rather watch curling than be creative. I would appreciate any light you could shed on helping me figure out what is 'normal.'"

First of all, I think that like body shape and how much pop culture you can take, there really isn't any such thing as normal, except what's normal for you. I, for instance, find that my creativity often goes in spurts, too, and it's really great if my creative fervor happens to coincide with a looming deadline. Not so good if it doesn't.

I am not very good at scheduling or time management, which is probably why I fritter away most of the day IMing, emailing, and talking on the phone. Given that one of the perks about being a writer is sitting at home in your fuzzy slippers all day, I have to work hard to make sure I don't become a social hermit.

Once that's taken care of, I typically realize about 7 p.m. that I've wasted the whole day and I ought to get to work. My husband thinks this a concerted effort to avoid him when he comes home, but really, it's just a by product of procrastination. I find I do my best work from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. most days, but that's because I'm a night person.

Also, because my books are under contract to a very large publisher (Simon and Schuster) I am usually staring down a very difficult deadline (Average time to write a book: 7-8 months). So, typically, in the last two months, I'm writing all the time, whether I'm in the mood for it or not, because I really don't have a choice, unless I want to take my book advance and fly to Costa Rica, and the sad fact is I don't speak Spanish.

But, if there's anything I can tell you, it's this: If you're in the mood to write - by ALL MEANS WRITE! It's hard enough to do when you feel like doing it. Trust me, when you have an editor calling you about deadlines it's even less fun.

Also, I've found that if I write a little bit - even if it's just an hour - a day, that helps keep me in the story, and keep my brain thinking about the story I'm working on. So, I guess, ultimately, my advice is write a little bit every day (if you can) and make writing a priority especially when your creative juices are flowing.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Gold Medal in Procrastination

I have to admit that it’s simply amazing I finished one book, not just three (going on four). It’s true. I have a procrastination problem. To give you an idea, I was supposed to be working on revisions to my newest book (a teen, youth lit venture called Bard Academy) and I got distracted this morning by the women’s gold medal curling competition.

As if actually watching two hours of curling (think shuffleboard meets ice bowling) isn’t enough proof that I would rather do almost anything instead of work, you should know that the USA wasn’t even in the competition. We’re not, after all, known for our curling. The gold medal championship was between Sweden and Switzerland (Sweden won – I know you wanted to know this. Try bringing it up at your next cocktail party, and watch the room’s conversation skid to a halt).

I personally think there ought to be a gold medal in procrastination, because then I would definitely win it – that is, if it was okay if I showed up late, and did almost all of my training in the twenty minutes before the actual competition.

Better yet, we could have an entire Olympics based on procrastination. I already have some of the sporting categories: Computer Solitaire Freestyle, Web Surfing Downhill, Deleting Annoying Chainletter Emails Short Program, and my personal best category, Instant Message Cross Country (this involves IMing people in other states). No one can IM as many people as I can at once. I believe my record for open IM windows at one time was nine. Sure, Sasha Cohen can skate, but can she type as fast as I can? I think not.

So bring on the medal competition. I’m ready to fly to Torino. At least, I’ll be ready right after I finish this round of Yahoo Chess.

My Fake Memoir

I'm sure many of you have heard of the James Frey controversy. The author of "A Million Little Pieces" was officially spurned by Oprah, and made a pariah on her hour-long special berating the former addict who likes to lie.

The thing is, I sort of feel a little sympathy for Mr. Frey. I mean, let's face it, if I wrote a truthful memoir, then it would involve me in my pajamas 80 percent of the time, where my most exciting event of the day would involve me standing in front of my refrigerator, sniffing at old yogurt and trying to figure out whether or not it's edible, even if it's three days past it's due date.

It's not exactly the sort of mind-blowing, nail-biting, page-turning writing that makes for a best-selling memoir. I suppose that's why I write fiction. My own life is pretty darn boring.

Still, I can understand why people feel angry about being mislead by Mr. Frey. But, I also think there are bigger problems in the world than having one author mislead us about whether or not he got a root canal without novocain. I am a big believer in the power of books, but I also think books only take us so far.

And I'm going on record as saying that if I ever write a memoir, trust me, I will exaggerate. In it, I'll be model-thin, tall, and have never had a zit my entire life. Oh, and in every argument I ever had with my husband, I was totally right. And for that last one, I don't even have to lie.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Freedom Fries, Supersized

Okay, so I should tell you about how I wowed them at the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles Saturday, where I gave a reading and signing for Dixieland Sushi. And by "wowed" I mean that I totally impressed the dozens of relatives who showed up (Second, Third, and even cousins of cousins were there).

But, frankly, the big news is that I finally, at long last, sampled the famous In and Out Burger. You can see where my priorities are. And yes, that's me in the picture below caught by Dad in mid-squat urgently focused on finding some ketchup. You see, I'm very focused when there are french fries around, and I don't care about much else, including how bad my hair is. Next to me is Grandma Mitzi, and across from me is my Stepmom Patty.

By the way, I was not alone in my pilgrimage to In and Out Burger. The line for the drive through (not pictured here) had 35 cars in it. Not kidding. 35! And I thought White Castle was bad at two in the morning.

Thanks to everyone who came out on Saturday. It was great to see everybody!

Friday, February 10, 2006

Extreme Home Bedroom Makeover

Okay, I must apologize for being AWOL for the last week. I painted and redid the floors in my bedroom, which seemed like a good idea until it dawned on my halfway through the project that I am not a handy person. In fact, I'm the sort of person that when I got into Home Depot, I ask questions that make the workers there either a) laugh or b) ask me if my husband knows what I'm doing.

Home Depot sexism aside, my husband is actually even less handy than I am, which is why when our friends Eric and Shannon come to visit (Eric - a former contractor) we ask him to do things like replace our light fixtures. It's probably why they don't visit very often.

Anyway, I've been working for a week, and I can't actually raise my arms all that well, which is not a problem for typing, but is a problem for hailing cabs. Luckily, I don't need to hail very many.

I am at this moment at the airport, waiting to head out to Los Angeles. I'll be at the Japanese American Museum tomorrow at two p.m. for those of you in the area. I think my entire extended family will be there. They'll be the people with all the cameras. Don't let the flashbulbs blind you.

I'll be back next week with more witty, semi-witty, or not-at-all witty witticisms. Til then, have a good weekend!

I'll be back on Monday.

Friday, January 27, 2006

What's News To Me

So, Adeline writes:

"Can't wait for your next book!! MORE MORE... I want more books from you..."

First off, thank you Adeline! You have impeccable taste. Seriously. I mean it. Flattery will get you everywhere.

As to the next book, "I Did (But I Wouldn't Now)" is out at the end of April, and you might want to start lining up at your neighborhood book store right now, because I know there will be more people in line to buy it than the last Harry Potter book. Okay, maybe not quite as many. You know, maybe like about 99.9 percent less people, but who's counting? I mean, you know, aside from me.

In the meantime, February 11 I'll be in Los Angeles at the Japanese American Museum signing copies of Dixieland Sushi. I've never done a museum signing before, and I wonder if this means that I'll need to watch a lot of PBS before I go, you know, just so I don't seem like a moron.

There's an interview with me on their web site, just in case you just can't get enough of Cara-Time. I know. I'm like crack. One whiff and you're addicted.

Hope everybody has a great weekend! I'll be back next week after I've overdosed on my weekly intravenous feeding of Vh-1 and E! (I just don't feel like myself unless I watch at least three hours of the each station on the weekend).

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Spawn of Brangelina

So, I'm sure everybody's heard about the Spawn of Brangelina by this point. Everything I've read has people betting that this will be the best looking baby on planet earth. But, frankly, who wants that kind of pressure? I mean, what if he/she isn't the perfect human being? What if - gasp - he or she is... ugly? It's possible, people. It's what's called God having a sense of humor. The joke is always on us.

At any rate, I don't think the media's been more interested in a baby since, well, since Federline's #3 (Spears #1).

Now, here's the thing. I am not going to take sides or join Team Jolie or Team Aniston. Let's face it. Brad has paid dearly for his defection. Would you really want to jet off to Haiti or Zaire every weekend? To do volunteer work? I mean, look, I realize the humanitarian aid is commendable, I do. But, frankly, I am way too lazy for that. So call me uncaring, but I don't want the jetlag or the Dysentery.

And trust me, after awhile, the whole humanitarian thing will wear thin. It's like when you first start dating a guy and he SWEARS he loves your friends and/or Lifetime and/or dumb romantic comedies. This is called The Honeymoon Period. It's the same time that we pretend that we don't care that he leaves the toilet seat up or his dirty socks on the floor. After six months, though, all bets are off. We stop being nice.

One of these weekends in the not too distance future, I foresee a Brangelina fight that goes something like this:

Angelina: Come on, Brad. Time to go.

Brad: Dammit, Angelina! The game is on! And we just went to Zaire LAST weekend!

Angelina: You're so selfish! Think about the children.

Brad: I am thinking about the children. Speaking of, just WHEN are we going to stop adopting? I thought you were just kidding when you said one from every country. I never thought you were serious!

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Red Carpet, How I Love Thee

So, after watching hours and hours of playoff football with my husband over the weekend, my time for revenge was at hand. Monday night, I had control of the TV to watch the Golden Globes, or as I like to call it, the AFC Championship of Drunk Celebrities.

This year, however, the Big Show wasn't the Golden Globes at all, but the pre-show on E! where Isaac Mizrahi, stylist guru, proved that no question was too personal. After asking all the actresses about their underwear (and whether or not they were wearing any), he asked Eva Longoria if she had a Brazilian and fondled Scarlett Johansson's boobs in the name of investigating Valentino's built-in shelf support system. All I can say is that for a gay man, Mizrahi shows an unusual interest in actresses' nether regions.

I'm not sure if he was on drugs, or looking for them, since he rifled through so many purses, as if hoping to find a dime bag or two. I'm not sure who's worse. Mizrahi or Joan Rivers (who was notorious for forgetting nominees' names or putting them in the wrong movie). But still, you have to give Mizrahi credit for mixing things up a bit. I suppose I might want to rifle through Terri Hatcher's clutch, too, if I had to hear the catch phrase "It takes a village" 1,000 times by different actresses in reference to getting ready for the Globes.

The Red Carpet antics were so good, I couldn't help but be disappointed by the actual show. This, of course, happens every year. Kudos to Harrison Ford, though, for bringing his drink on stage. It was the best reminder that these are the drunk version of the Oscars, where it's perfectly acceptible to tell all the viewers at home you were in the bathroom when your name was announced for an award.

At any rate, the Golden Globes is just a warm-up to the Big Night: the Oscars. My husband likes to say that he "trains" himself for football playoffs by marathon TV watching/snacking. It's not easy to sit still for 8 hours. I'm taking a similar approach with the Oscars. After two hours of Globes pre-show and three hours of award ceremony, I'm in good shape for the Oscars. Then again, it's sad when I have to "get in shape" for sitting on the couch. But that's what happens when you don't see the inside of a gym for months.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

That's How I Roll

Okay, so I've posted TWICE IN ONE WEEK! I'm back, baby. Well, okay, so I'm just procrastinating because I don't want to work, but you know what that means. It means we can procrastinate together. Oh, yes, sweet procrastination!

I felt I ought to give a shout out to my friend, Bethie. We had our Bad Movie Night last night, which is seriously the best concept ever. We get together for pizza and wine and watch one of the best bad movies of all time (the last showing was "Showgirls," which if you've ever happened to catch the Vh-1, edited for TV version, you have to agree the drawn-in cartoon bras are hysterical).

Last night's showing was "Glitter," starring Mariah Carey as a young singer who falls in love with a white DJ named "Dice" who can't quite settle on his accent (Is he from Brooklyn or Australia? He just doesn't know - it adds to his mystique). He also asks Mariah if she "blows" (which according to DJ slang, isn't a sexual innuendo at all, but a sincere question about her singing ability). Yeah, okay, I'm not that hip to street lingo, but I'm pretty sure that if a guy asks you if you "blow" he's not talking about whether you can hit the high notes.

Like all truly bad movies, "Glitter" can be turned into a drinking game. Every time Dice says "aw'rite" in false New York/Australian accent - drink! Every time Mariah wears inappropriate silver body paint (a not-so-subtle tie-in to the title "Glitter") - drink! Every time Mariah wears her hair in a disturbing side-pony tail - drink! Every time Mariah shows only the right side of her face - drink! By the way, I think Bethie and I have solved the mystery of the no-left profile rule for Mariah. We're pretty sure she's got a snaggle tooth on that side. And yes, this IS the point of Bad Movie Night - to find profound truths through the zoom/pause buttons on the DVD remote.

By the way, for those of you who haven't seen "Glitter," it's worth the entire movie just to see the end (Mariah wobbling on the grass in stilettos to go see her long-lost mother). It's fantabulous - which according to my make-believe version of Webster's dictionary, means "awesomely bad." I should warn you, though. Do not watch the movie alone, or without the presence of alcohol. Both are needed to make it the best worst movie ever.

Monday, January 09, 2006

New Year's Resolution #5: Watch More Vh-1

So, I'm sorry I've been incommunicado this last week. I'm sure you all thought - "wow - that was SOME hangover" considering that I've been mute for a week. And yes, it WAS a serious hangover, but not one-week-in-bed serious. I've actually been working. I know - somebody call the Guinness Book of World Records, because this is the longest period of time I've gone without watching E! or Vh-1.

I'm finishing up final edits on "I Did (But I Wouldn't Now)" which is due out at the end of April. You can already buy advanced copies on Amazon. And, I'm also finishing "Wuthering High" a Bard Academy Book.

In the meantime, here's a sneak peak of the Bard Cover. It'll be a great book (I hope!) for teens, and also for adults looking for a little escape back to their younger years. If you like Buffy the Vampire Slayer (and come on, who doesn't?) you might like this, too. Miranda, the main character, is shipped off to a reform boarding school, but the school is haunted. You'll just have to wait to find out more!

In the meantime, if you're dying for more Cara-time, and I realize that my personality is like an addictive drug, then you can check out this interview on Conversations With Famous Writers. I'm not sure if I technically qualify for "famous," but I'll do my best to try. This morning I'll have to wear giant oversized sunglasses and a designer hobo bag that cost $5,000. Next, I'll run my car straight into a paparazzi van (which will be difficult because I'll have to go find one). Then, I'll complain to everyone who'll listen how fame is so draining, and how no one understands me. Okay, I think I've got the hang of this "fame" thing. I guess I qualify.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Holy Hangover, Batman

I don't know about you, but I feel like a bus ran me over last night, somewhere in between downing glasses of champagne (never a good idea on top of wine and/or cocktails) and the illegal fireworks set off by my husband's friends (across the street from a police station, which goes to show there was lots of alcohol ingested by that point). I am very hung over today, so my apologies for any misspellings, fragments and jokes that are, well, lame. At this point, it's a miracle I am typing at all.

But I should pause a moment and get you guys up to speed. Last night, my husband and I went party-hopping. Okay, so, I do not mean to brag and/or sound like I am ridiculously popular but then again if you ever read this blog, you know that I am pretty shameless when it comes to self-promotion, so it's clear that modesty is not my strong suit. So, yes, that's right, we have friends. Awesome friends who throw parties with fabulous food and lots and lots and lots of booze. The good stuff. Not the watered down drinks of non-name vodka you get at the all-inclusive resorts in Cancun. We took the train into the city, and without the worry of driving, we took full advantage.

The short of it is that the pair of us looked the worse for wear this morning. My husband, in fact, summed it up by saying, "Today is a reminder that it is not good to be stupid." There's nothing like ringing in 2006 with a throbbing headache, a sour stomach and the spins. But let's face it, it's not New Year's unless you spend it on the couch watching E! or Vh-1. Thank God for bad reality TV.

Happy 2006 everybody!